The first judicial reform law is felt in Israel

Updated

Netanyahu reaches several months of calm in his coalition but the country sinks into a deep crisis on several fronts

An injured protester is dragged away by police during a protest against judicial reform.Ariel ShalitDAD
  • voltage The approval of the first judicial reform law exacerbates the crisis in Israel
  • Crisis Israeli reservists lead protest against judicial reform plan

The sentiment of detractors of Israel’s judicial reform plan after the passage of its first law nullifying a major Supreme Court (TS) appeal to review government decisions was reflected in the first two black pages of Israeli newspapers with the following words: “As black for Israeli democracy. The locomotive of Israel will never give up”. This is not an editorial coincidence of the press but paid advertising by a large group of high tech which is very active in protests to stop what it calls “attacks against judicial independence and democracy”.

“A great day for democracy”, they exclaimed, for their part, in the coalition in the aftermath of the first step “to correct the legal system and restore the powers taken away from the Government and the Knsset”.

Neither of them believes that the annulment of the reasonableness clause is the end of democracy. Not only can the Supreme Court overturn the amendment, contested by seven appeals filed, but it also has more criteria such as proportionality, lack of authority, conflict of interest or equality to intervene in government decisions and appointments. But the fear of many is the context. I mean, let it be start of the process to weaken the judiciary. The preamble to the great objective of the Minister of Justice, Yair Levin and part of the coalition: to obtain a majority in the selection commission.

The approval of the law has consequences even before it even enters into force after the signature of the president isaac herzog.

From an economic point of view, the effects are immediate and negative. The day after the law was passed, The stock market recorded a 6% dropthe value of the shkelit lost 2.7% against the dollar while Morgan Stanley, Citibank and the Moodys agency released negative reports on the consequences of political and social events on the economy. The reduction in investments in the Israeli technology ecosystem in the first six months of the year compared to last year is 68%.

On the other hand, the military leadership expresses great concern after the announcement of thousands of reservists don’t show up for your volunteer service in protest because the rule is not consensual. The damage is already a fact in the internal cohesion and deterrence capacity in the region while it is not expected to affect military capacity in the short term.

Distance from the White House

Diplomatically, it is the last thing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu needed to reconcile with the Biden administration who already viewed his ultra-conservative coalition with great suspicion. The US usually broadcasts reactions about its major Middle East ally on security and regional issues like Iran or the conflict with the Palestinians and not on internal affairs. In recent months, however, President Joe Biden has made his concern public by asking for active (telephone conversation with Netanyahu) and passive (through journalist Thomas Friedmann) that the reform is consensual. In a reflection of American anger, Netanyahu has yet to receive the invitation to the white house despite having been in power for seven months now. What happened this week at the Knsset doesn’t exactly bring it closer to Washington.

In the political arena and as his corruption trial continues, Netanyahu has achieved several months of calm in his coalition after giving in to Levin, who had refused any concessions to agree the law. He premier He set the end of November as the deadline to agree on the rest of the reform, as promised to Biden. Netanyahu would be interested in freezing everything and refocusing on his favorite agenda (against nuclear Iran AND in favor of normalizing relations with Saudi Arabia) but Levin (“the real prime minister,” according to the opposition and several analysts) and some coalition partners will demand that it continue with or without the opposition signing, despite doing so would deepen the schism and cause more protests and polls indicate that a majority of Israelis oppose reform without consensus.

THE tragedy Netanyahu’s policy – and therefore the country’s – is that for the first time in his long career he does not have an alternative on the centre-left accept a government or threaten to accept. For this, fringe parties with radical positions occupy important positions in power, which on the other hand contributes significantly to the discontent, intensity and perseverance of the massive protests that started 30 weeks ago.

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